Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG

Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure

Abdoulaye Doucoure has attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain, but Javi Gracia is optimistic Watford could replace him if he leaves.

Watford head coach Javi Gracia is hopeful another player will step up if Abdoulaye Doucoure leaves for Paris Saint-Germain.

Doucoure signed for Watford in January 2016, playing the first few months on loan at Granada in LaLiga before heading to England ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

His first season passed without much fanfare, but in 2017-18 the Frenchman really caught the eye, impressing with his all-action, box-to-box displays in midfield and scoring seven goals from 37 Premier League starts.

He has continued to look the part for Watford this term and emerged as a reported target for PSG, who are eager for midfield reinforcements due to the potential imminent retirement of Lassana Diarra and Adrien Rabiot seemingly on his way out.

Doucoure acknowledged earlier this week that he does not see his long-term future at Watford, and Gracia accepts this is the nature of football for clubs of their stature, but he is not overly concerned.

“This club is like this. You have to know it,” Gracia told reporters on Friday. “Maybe if Richarlison was still with us, you don’t see Roberto Pereyra at the same level [he has been at this season].

“Always there is a good chance to see a good player [step up]. I don’t like to complain about the players I don’t have. I prefer to give value to the players I have and try to be positive.

“It is not only this month [that there is transfer speculation]. I think it is the last month as well, and the last season as well. Always there is a lot of news about Doucoure.

“He is a good professional, that is the most important thing. He is focused on Watford and he knows the best for him, for us, for everybody, is always try to give his best and this way we will see what happens in the future.

“But in this moment, with Doucoure and with other players, they are Watford players.”

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